Alpine Summit

Thursday, December 28, 2006

When Parents are Deployed

I was flipping through channels tonight and saw Cuba Gooding, Jr. walking down Sesame Street. It turns out this program was on PBS and featured families coping with being away from loved ones who are deployed in the military.

A program was recently implemented to help explain to children 5 and under about their parents situation and to help them understand the situation in which they find themselves. Having experienced this particular situation myself, I can attest to how difficult it is growing up as a child of a parent in the military. This program brought back several memories for me growing up during the waning years of the cold war. Many of us wear the title of "military brat" with pride. Just as working in the military is different from working in the civilian world, so it is for the families.

We often hear "thank a vet" or "be sure to thank someone you know in the military" but people tend to overlook the sacrifices and efforts made by families. Sometimes the spouse takes on the extra duties of the service member such as taking complaints and briefing them later in the evening or playing the role of both parents all the while trying to hold it together themselves. The most amazing part is that even though they have every right to throw up their hands and say "this isn't fair," often their response is "I can't let them see me cry or it might upset them."
If that kind of strength isn't worthy of praise, I don't know what is.